Hosting Jupyter Notebooks on a Blog

About this blog

I started this blog in 2015 from some notes I took in Jupyter Notebooks. Starting from these notebooks, it was only a small effort to publish them via GitHub Pages so that they might be of benefit to others.

This post, created way after I initially created this blog, intends to describe how to use GitHub pages to host Jupyter notebooks as blog posts.

GitHub Pages

GitHub Pages is a service provided by GitHub to host static webpages under the * domain. Setting up a GitHub pages is remarkably simple, and only requires creating a GitHub repository with the right name and push some static content to it. See more at the GitHub Pages website and this guide from GitHub.

For example, this blog is backed by this GitHub repository, the page you are reading now is build by GitHub from this repository.


To further customize the site, GitHub Pages supports Jekyll, a popular static site generator described on the Jekyll GitHub repo as:

Jekyll is a simple, blog-aware, static site generator perfect for personal, project, or organization sites. Think of it like a file-based CMS, without all the complexity.

Jekyll itself is written in Ruby, however, you don’t need to know any Ruby to be able to use Jekyll. Jekyll itself provides us a few useful functionalities:

To learn more about using Jekyll and GitHub Pages see the documentation on “Setting up a GitHub Pages site with Jekyll”.


GitHub Pages supports a few themes out-of-the-box nowadays. However, this site uses some custom layouting based on Bootstrap components and the various CSS and JS files. For example, the navigation bar at the top of this page is created using Bootstrap, and is defined in this file.

The notebook formatting on this site is based on Jupyter’s CSS files used to export notebooks.

Notebook conversion

Lot’s of posts on this blog are generated from Jupyter Notebooks. To convert notebooks to HTML Jupyter provides a tool called nbconvert, which is used to convert the notebooks in this blog.

I’ve made a small Python script that uses nbconvert’s HTMLExporter to convert the notebooks to HTML. The resulting HTML is processed using Beautiful Soup, a HTML parser, to extract some information, and enable custom features like the cell collapse buttons you might have seen on this site (implemented in this JavaScript file).

This conversion script is run on a notebook before I push the changes to the GitHub repository. The resulting HTML is written somewhere to the _posts directory which will be picked up by Jekyll for rendering as a post.

Math rendering

Most of the notebooks contain mathematical formulas written in \(\LaTeX\). To enable the same formulas being rendered MathJax is being used on this site. MathJax describes itself as a:

A JavaScript display engine for mathematics that works in all browsers.

I have a local copy of MathJax in my repository. The JavaScript is loaded with the help of this template that is loaded in the head of each HTML page. To use MathJax yourself I recommend to start with loading it from a CDN on the web.

Jekyll GitHub Pages Blog Notebook